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Malaysia Airports targets 50% increase in passenger spend at KLIA

(KUALA LUMPUR: 05 December 2005) Dato’ Seri Bashir Ahmad, Managing Director of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), unveiled a plan to improve retail offerings at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to increase average passenger spend at the airport by 50%.

MAHB will also aim to find new uses for currently underutilised assets, such as the possible construction of a theme park on vacant land adjacent to the airport to boost non-aeronautical revenues. MAHB is also seeking to increase advertising revenue. “Airline customers are increasingly reluctant to share their hard-earned revenues with us”, in the form of landing charges, said Dato’ Bashir.

The head of the body that manages Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), with its 23 million annual passengers, told 250 delegates and media leaders gathered at the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation’s Outlook 2006 Summit that the airport’s biggest priority is bringing the 35% share of non-aeronautical revenues to parity with revenues raised from charges on airlines.

Dato’ Bashir was speaking on a panel focusing on enhancing revenue generation capabilities throughout the aviation sector, and was joined by Albert Yau of Dragonair. Mr Yau explained how the Hong Kong-based carrier has boosted profitability through a greater focus on cargo services. Cargo revenues has risen from a negligible level in 1997 to 42% of total revenues today.

Willy Boulter, Commercial Director with Virgin Atlantic, shared that his company’s strategy for maintaining revenue growth was simply to offer the best service available. By doing this, he explained, Virgin holds onto a disproportionately high share of the shrinking worldwide premium class market. The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation’s Executive Chairman and session moderator, Peter Harbison summed up Mr Boulter’s message, stating: “If you’ve got a better product, you’ll get better yields.”

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